Handholding a large telephoto lens may be intimidating for first-timers, or can be bothersome even for those who are already familiar with it. Tools like tripods and gimbal heads may help make it a bit more manageable. But there will always be times when you have to go handheld with it. Today’s tips may prove useful for such cases and help you shoot with more confidence.

In the video above, Leigh the SnapChick talks about how you can be more comfortable with handheld shooting a large telephoto lens. While some photographers may find them intimidating, she says that telephoto lenses are actually designed to be easier to use. Of course, they can still be challenging to handle because of their size and heft. Still, there are workarounds, such as understanding the stabilization options available to you. Knowing the best shutter speed to use for the subject and situation is another. A lot of it will involve practice and trial and error to see what works best for you. Think of it as building physical and mental muscle to handle your gear!

Lastly, Leigh also gave some tips on the best camera bag to carry your telephoto lens with, and how to hold it in between shots. These are all equally important to help you get more comfortable with taking your lens with you, and increasing the chances that you actually shoot with it!

Want more lens tips like this? Make sure you’ve already signed up in the Photofocus Community so you can ask you fellow photographers for their insights!